Face Mask with Hinged Jaw (Bu gle)
12 x 5 3/4 x 4 1/2 in. (30.5 x 14.6 x 11.4 cm)
Medium and Support:
Wood, metal, monkey fur, sacrificial materials
Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Location: Currently on view
This mask originally had a hinged jaw that has broken off and is now covered with a patch of monkey fur. Masks like this are believed to embody spiritual beings capable of settling disputes with clear impartiality. By clattering the upper and lower jaw together the mask voices his judgments. The metal eye rims obscure the human eyes beneath and enhance an already penetrating glare. The thick crust visible on the surface is the result of sacrificial materials that have been “fed” to the bu gle – an appropriate way to control the powers of the mask.
[Gallery label text, 2009]